Normally, we don’t condone piracy at the Fix My PC Free blog. But there are some cases where piracy deserves to be mentioned. A recent piracy-related blog post by an executive Nokia engineer certainly deserves to be mentioned because it shows users exactly how to get apps from the Windows Store for free while removing in-app advertisements.
You might think that this workaround would require in-depth hacking knowledge and functional programming skills. But it doesn’t. In fact, the scariest part about this tip is how easy it is to implement. Even users with no technical experience can start using apps for free (and steal in-app purchases) by editing a few simple lines of code.
The original blog post has been taken down or the site is currently experiencing heavy traffic volume. You can check out the cached blog post here to get an idea of what we’re talking about.
Basically, all users have to do is:
-Download the trial version of any Metro app (legally, from the Windows Store)
-Download a free open-source tool that can read and edit a Metro app’s coding
-Use that tool to change the license type from ‘Trial’ to ‘OEM’ in order to unlock the app’s full version for absolutely no cost at all
-That free open-source tool can also be used to remove in-app advertisements from any Metro apps
So not only do you get free versions of premium apps, but you also get to avoid exposing your poor eyes to annoying advertisements. This exploit works on all apps that offer trial versions. From $2 games to $40 office software.
Full details about this process – as well as the free open-source tool you need to download – can be found here. We don’t want to steal the Nokia engineer’s thunder, but with just a few steps, anybody can unlock full versions of premium apps or remove annoying in-app advertisements. Even if you have a minimal amount of tech experience, you shouldn’t have trouble following that picture guide.
Getting in-app purchases for free
The same ‘exploit’ (can this even really be called an exploit?) can be used to unlock in-app purchases for free. However, the unlock process isn’t as easy as unlocking full licensed versions of apps.
But in the blog post, the Nokia engineer uses a special debugging tool to grant himself one million credits in Soulcraft, a popular competitive online RPG. How much do one million credits cost in real-world terms? $1000. This exploit also reportedly works on many of the world’s most popular games and apps – if not all of them.
Bad news for the Windows Store and Microsoft
Microsoft is already having trouble convincing developers to create apps for the Windows Store. There simply aren’t enough users to justify making apps for operating systems that aren’t named “Android” or “iOS”.
And this free Metro app hack is just going to push more developers away. After all, without in-app advertisements and licensing fees, app developers have literally no way to make money from their Windows Store apps.
It will be interesting to see how Microsoft responds to this matter. In the meantime, scoop up free apps and in-app purchases while you can, because we suspect that the exploit won’t last very long.